In the book of memoirs Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman tells the hilarious story of his encounter with army psychiatrists when it seemed he might be drafted during WWII. Feynman couldn't stand psychiatrists (he didn't think much of philosophers, either), and he had a lot of fun getting the shrinks to declare him mentally unfit merely by telling them the truth. It's a great story. At one point, he asks one of them, "What did you study in school?" The psychiatrist says, "Medicine." Feynman looks at him and says, "And this is medicine?" When he gets to see the notes documenting his alleged mental instability, Feynman finds that that psychiatrist wrote down, "Very peculiar stare." Says Feynman, shrewdly, "I knew what that was. It was when I said, 'And this is medicine?'"
Pompous fools don't like being made fun of. For years, I remembered that part of the book incorrectly, changing the question in my mind to, "And this is science?" That version of the question is appropriate to a recent article, supposedly in the field of biology (!), published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by one Anthony Cashmore. Cashmore asserts that all human behavior is a result of a trinity (his word) of genes, environment, and stochasticism. This means that we don't have free will even if physical reality is not (e.g., because of quantum mechanics) deterministic. By calling a belief in free will "religion" and "vitalism," Cashmore implies that he has given some devastating reason to deny the freedom of the will. The nearest things I can find to argument in the article are a) a reference to studies showing people registering brain activity (believed to have something to do with the decision to move a finger) prior to reporting the conscious decision to move a finger and b) a mention of the phenomenon of blindsight. None of this, of course, is remotely original with Cashmore. Oh, and Cashmore also apparently thinks it's an argument against free will that the actions of the will are not caused. Um, no, that's part of the definition of free will.
And this is science?
Readers may also be interested in this related post, which gives another example of ideology and childishly poor philosophy donning the mantle of Science (in that case, medicine) and appearing as such in a professional journal.